I posted a Vintage shot featuring a 57 Harley titled Vintage. I printed an 8×10 and framed it and put it on display. Well, a gentleman stopped by and was commenting me on the photo and asked if I was willing to sell it. It was his bike and he thought the photo was really cool. He said if I had any more photos he would probably want to buy them too. He stopped by later and we looked at the shots I had taken of the vintage bikes. When we passed by a couple of shots of a gold Harley, he said, “hang on that’s my bike too”. So I worked with him to arrange the shots in similar fashion to go along with the other 8×10. It was a really good feeling for me to know that the owner of the motorcycles appreciated the work I had done and was willing to buy it. In fact, he sent his wife down to have her photo taken on the black Harley, and his brother also came down and asked me to photograph his 75 Harley. I am not a biker and do not know very much about motorcycles, but I had a great time shooting the bikes and bikers during the Ogemaw Hills Bike Week 2012. I shot over 3,800 pictures during the week including the Hill Climb, Flat Track Racing, the Ives Brothers Stunt team, Super Moto, and the bands including Jedi Mind Trip, Big Gun, and Ernest Entertainment. If your interested visit my website, www.richlewphoto.com, and check out some of the Bike Week 2012 photos. I have a lot more to upload. I’ll be editing the gallery this week.
Serendipity is a word that describes something pleasant that was unexpected. I experienced serendipity earlier today while shooting photos at Ogemaw Hills Bike Week 2012. A couple decided to get married at the small church in the woods. I was asked to shoot some photos of the wedding service. I wasn’t sure what to expect, just like the rest of the week. There were two big burly bikers at the church welcoming everyone to “Biker Church”. One of the bikers had the pin pictured above on his worn leather vest. I asked him what it meant, it looked like some sort of foreign language with letters I didn’t recognize. He asked me, “don’t you see it?” I could not see it, but then realized it was one of those optical illusion puzzles. Can you see what it says?
So, back to the serendipity thing… I never expected to find two strong Christian men actively ministering to the lost and the hurting, at Bike Week. Both men had experienced the hurt that comes from living in a broken world and clinging to that world and all the stink, filth, and sorrow that goes along with it. Now they both reach out to others who are in need, but may not know or realize it yet. Our Lord loves everyone and asks us to do the same, like the song we learned long ago in Sunday School says, “They will know we are Christians by our love.” Oh, want to know what the acronymn H.I.M stands for? Hogs In Ministry.
Super Moto in Downtown West Branch, one of my favorite events. They close off the main road, and truck in enough dirt to make a “table top”, which is a jump, then race right through town. The street is lined with spectators who are wildly cheering for their favorite. A very long day for me, as I got back to camp, I was whisked away to go shoot the bands Jedi Mind Trip and Big Gun, an AC DC tribute band. Now I am shooting the host band, Ernest Entertainment. A very long day indeed.
Wow, I didn’t know they still had these… not since I lived in Houston, many years ago, have I seen or even heard of a Mechanical Bull, let alone witnessed any riders. Well, you never know what you might see at Bike Week, and this proves it. Not only one rider, but two riders at the same time! Well, I guess if you’re a biker, you can ride anything. They sure looked like they were having a good time. 🙂
In between shooting events at Bike Week, I wandered through the Ogemaw Fairgrounds in search of, a photo opportunity other than a motorcycle theme. Well, I do love old wooden buildings, and I do know where to find some on the fairgrounds. There is a nice little village that has been reconstructed with lots of old buildings. I really like the hinges on this old barn door. I debated whether or not to upload in color, the combination of rust and wood made for great textures, I decided on sepia tone. I like the tone and the antique mood it brings to the photo. We finally had a break in the heat today, it was much more tolerable being outside. Yesterday was unbearable, but somehow we made it through. Then it was back to the arena for Flat Track Racing, and more dust and dirt.
This Harley Davidson was on display in the Exhibit area at Bike Week. I really like the vintage bikes, and of course vintage bikes should be rendered in black and white. This reminds me of the motorcycle police bikes way back. This one is a 1957, older than me. 🙂
Flash forward to today, this evening just before the sun set, as I was making my way around camp, looking for photo ops, I came across the burnout area. Yep, this is where they line up to burn rubber. John, pictured here saw me with the camera and graciously volunteered to do a burnout for me. Wow, check out all the smoke. Great burnout John.
Day 2 of Bike Week, the event of the day was the Hill Climb. This was my first time attending a Hill Climb. I had my press pass and was free to roam wherever I chose to get the best vantage point. I met up with a couple of veteran photographers, who were kind enough to give me some tips. Boy, I’m really glad they did, because I had no idea what was about to happen. I figured the best place to start out was on top of the hill, a 250 ft tower of compacted dirt at the Bunting Sand and Gravel Company in West Branch, Michigan. By the time I reached the top, I felt every year I had experienced. I decided to accept a ride down the hill in a golf cart, when it was time. I spent 2 hours shooting these motorcycle hill climbers. It was another 90 degree day and I was soaking wet with sweat when the first climber took off. I was excited, I was close, I had a great view. I did get some nice shots, but the amount of dust well, let’s just say I was not prepared for that! My first thought was, “oh no, my camera is done!” I looked to the other photographers, and they were caked with dirt and dust, the same as me. This is the way it is, you get dirty, you go home and clean the camera. I must say it was a lot of fun being so close to the action. These riders are very courageous. The danger is high, as they are climbing at a very steep angle, and the dirt is loose, there are bumps along the way, if you get airborne, you will most likely take a spill. Then the fun begins, because the motorcycle tends to roll down hill, whether the rider is in the way or not. Some of these bikes are rigged with chains on their rear will for traction, watch out when that comes at you! This was a very exciting event. But I will say, the hill kicked my but. I had to go back to camp and take a nap. 🙂
Bike week begins tomorrow, so that would make today, Bike Week Eve. Bikers have begun filing in and setting up camp, and oh yes, having fun. That’s what it’s all about right?
Below are a few photos from today…click on any of the thumbnails below to view larger images.
Special thanks to Bradley for stopping by inspite of the loud motorcyles, and the 50 caliber cap gun sounding off, you can see Bradley was a little nervous, but he still was brave enough to pose.